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A 34-year-old member asked:

Does folate (folic acid) deficiency anemia affect the brain and nerves?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Wound care 35 years experience
Folate (folic acid) Deficiency: Folic acid deficiency can cause anemia. It can also cause non-specific behavioral problems and headaches. A deficiency during pregnancy can result in an increased incidence of neural tube defects. These neurological affects, while due to the same deficiency of folate, (folic acid) are not due to the anemia itself.
Dr. Edison Wong
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 30 years experience
Yes: Folate (folic acid) is needed for maintenance and repair of myelin, the covering of larger/faster nerve fibers. Deficiency in utero results in birth defects of the neural cord, low birth weight or prematurity. Deficiency will slow growth in children. Peripheral neuropathy results in adults. Deficiency is reversible if treated early enough. Nerves suffer from folate (folic acid) deficiency itself more than from anemia.

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Last updated Oct 8, 2017

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